Date published: Sunday 1st November 2020 9:11
Gareth Bale’s first goal back in a Tottenham shirt was a crucial one as Tottenham secured a narrow 2-1 victory over Brighton.
Spurs were the livelier of the two sides out of the gate, and quickly set up camp in the Brighton half who were themselves seemingly happy to sit deep.
The plan’s success was short-lived when Adam Lallana conceded a penalty in bizarre fashion.
The Seagulls midfielder climbed all over Harry Kane as the centre-forward backed out of the box. A VAR review awarded the spot kick after the referee initially gave a free-kick.
Kane assumed responsibility and duly tucked away the penalty to hand his side an early 1-0 lead.
Harry Kane has now been directly involved in more goals (14) than any other player in Europe’s top five divisions:
◎ 7 games
◉ 6 goals
◉ 8 assists
No mistake from the spot. pic.twitter.com/uvFEBZDG0M
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) November 1, 2020
That goal signalled a change in the attacking intent of Brighton, who gradually began to plan in a more expansive manner after stemming the early tide of pressure.
Brighton felt aggrieved to not be awarded a penalty of their own after Matt Doherty faced an anxious wait as VAR adjudicated on his tussle with Leandro Trossard.
The Spurs defender did have a hold of the Belgian’s shirt, but relinquished his grasp at the crucial moment as VAR ruled no infringement had been committed.
Clear-cut chances proved difficult to craft as the first-half wore on, but despite Brighton’s lack of efforts on goal, Graham Potter’s side were the team in the ascendancy going into the interval.
Tottenham saw two penalty appeals waved away to start the second half, with first Son Heung-min and then Kane both going down too easily under minimal contact.
As the game approached the hour mark, a controversy was born after Tariq Lamptey’s equaliser was not disallowed following what a contentious challenge in the build-up.
Solly March slid in on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and appeared to make minimal contact with the ball, if any. The ball eventually broke to Pascal Gross who in turn fed Lamptey who notched his first career goal with a calm side footed finish.
This is what it feels like to score your first career goal!
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) November 1, 2020
Sensing an opportunity to grasp all three points, The Seagulls continued to push forward in search of a match-winning goal.
Adam Webster’s headed wide from a corner, before Erik Lamela struck the post with a low drive from distance.
Kane them somehow missed from point blank range after latching onto a flick-o from a corner. The England centre-forward’s touch made the angle acute, and his resulting effort struck the post from barely a yard away.
A third goal seemed an inevitability, and so it proved when substitute Gareth Bale marked his return to Spurs in style by nodding home Sergio Reguilon’s cross to make it 2-1.
⚽️ Gareth Bale has scored his 43rd PL goal – 7 years & 166 days after the 42nd
It is the 1st time he has scored a PL goal as a sub pic.twitter.com/3p1ax5e298
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) November 1, 2020
Potter’s men piled forward in search of a last-gasp reprieve, but it was to be Bale’s day as Tottenham ultimately edged past Brighton 2-1.